With an estimated 8.5 million dogs in the UK it’s clear that we are a nation of dog lovers but it’s not always practical for people to keep dogs of their own. As well as having the necessary free time, space and money, of course, people should be prepared to take on the additional responsibility of owning a pet.
In 2012, Rikke Rosenlund (the founder of BorrowMyDoggy) borrowed a brown labrador called Aston and spotted an opportunity. She wondered why people would pay so much money for dog walkers and kennels when there were people who would do it for free. Just five years later, BorrowMyDoggy has over half a million people signed up.
BorrowMyDoggy provides an online platform for dog owners and dog borrowers to meet. Once on the platform, you type in your availability, information about your dog or yourself, if you’re the borrower. You then browse your dog or human matches and take it from there. The matching process is now carried out by an algorithm but in the early days Rosenlund matched people herself.
The BorrowMyDoggy network grew organically at the start, created between dog owners and borrowers but now a lot of effort is being invested to keep the community alive through social media.
It is clear that the arrangement is a mutually beneficial one where both dog owners and borrowers gain a great deal from the exchange.
Anna heard about BorrowMyDoggy and signed up. “Having a dog of my own is the ultimate dream but a bit unrealistic right now as I work full time. Borrow my doggy means I can walk Loli who lives 3 streets away as often as I can commit to, knowing that it’s a big help to her owner, extra walkies for Loli and fun for me.”
Bringing dog owners and dog lovers together to share the care of a dog can be a great way of connecting people living in the same area. “Borrow my doggy is a genius idea which means you can have a dog in your life, even if you don’t have the space or lifestyle to be able to provide the commitment needed to own your own. It also brings neighbours together which can only be a good thing.”
To find out more, visit the BorrowMyDoggy website.